Tripe and beans is a favorite Jamaican meal that is popular at home and in restaurants on the island and abroad. When a Caribbean Islander speaks of Tripe and Beans they are almost always referring to cow belly cooked with butter beans in a  thick rich sauce. Often served with ground provisions and dumplings, tripe & beans is not for everyone and not everyone (even some accomplished cooks) can cook tripe. Until now that was. As with most of my recipes this one is pretty easy to follow. The hardest part is the time it takes to cook. Unless you own a pressure or slow cooker. Tripe is commonly found in supermarkets that sell Caribbean or Hispanic foods.

From slave food to fine fare tripe has been working its way up the food chain. In recent years tripe has made its way onto the menus of more than a few James Beard winning Chefs. For me, as for many other Caribbean islanders cooking and eating tripe and beans is just another part of life. Tripe can cooked by itself or finished with butter beans as done in the recipe below.

When I first learned to cook tripe, my cooking experience began with a Friday morning trek to Miss Ellen’s slaughterhouse in Sheffield Jamaica.  After securing the requisite amount of *tripe I headed home.  Ms. Ellen and my grandmother were friends so we always got good stuff. At home there was washing and scalding and before seasoning and cooking. Nowadays tripe can be bought cleaned and ready to cook from the grocery store.

cow tripe
Different parts of the cow belly makes up what we call tripe, there is the honeycomb which resembles an actual honeycomb. The book/ read has thin flaps that look like pages of a book the flat tripe resembles a blanket. Then there are the little pipelike parts which are less common in stores. Cook each part together or separately.

Cooking tripe is just as easy as stewing any other meat. A little bit of time, some flavor + some butter beans. You’ll be eating good in no time. Boiled dumplings, green banana, ground provisions or roast breadfruit all make great accompaniments for a plate of Tripe and Beans.


cooking trip
Because tripe has a colorless unappetizing appearance, Curry or other spices is usually added the cooking liquid to give the dish some color.

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Sian Rose

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